The wolves of VARG return to their roots with their seventh full-length album, Zeichen (engl. “signs”), to be released on September 18, 2020 via Napalm Records. The album marks a new era of the wolves haunted by wild battles, death and bloodlust a resurrection from the fields of Pagan Metal, pairing razor-sharp melodic death riffs with Freki’s furious vocals. Forget anything you have seen or heard about them in the past few years and embrace the new album as a reboot of a band that never ceased to evolve and has gotten rid of everything superfluous.
VARG sets an uncompromising sign with first monumental single “Zeichen” (engl. signs), which comes along with an official video and introduces the concept behind their upcoming offering. Visually and lyrically, their first single draws the listener deep into the Viking era, picturing their traditions, a strong community cohesion, ancient runes, the old gods and their beliefs. The chorus gets stuck in your head, coalesces with the blasting power of riffs and perfectly showcases the reincarnation of VARG. “Zeichen” is the ultimate hymn heralding the age of the wolves.
On their authentic masterpiece Zeichen, the wolves of VARG return to their roots and embark on a journey further down a new road. Within the first seconds of the album opener breaking loose, VARG draws the listener into the year “793” that heralded the ferocious era of the Vikings. In contrast, “Fara Til Ranar”, including additional female vocals, is a melancholic, captivating saga about the Nordic sea goddess Rán, who pulls wandering sailors down into her wet grave. “Verräter”, on the other hand, emphasizes the suffering and vengeance towards former allies with rapid guitar leads, and ultimately, the album culminates in the mighty title hymn “Zeichen”.
In addition to the ten new tracks, the mediabook contains a bonus CD featuring alternate versions of each song the band recorded with renowned guest musicians from Eluveitie, Nachtblut and Equilibrium among others. Looking at the final opus, it’s not surprising why VARG took four years after the publication of Das Ende Aller Lügen (which hit number 17 on the German charts) to regather their forces, and today, Zeichen shows that Freki, Fenrier, Morkai and Garm consciously took their time to realign their inner compass and are not afraid of musical and intellectual freedom.
Singer Freki states: “In Norse mythology, the earth cleanses itself in fire and rises from the ashes Zeichen is the rebirth of VARG. Based on our pagan metal roots, we have lyrically discarded all modern elements and simultaneously lifted vocals, melody and musical hardness to a whole new level. The path we walk on Zeichen is raw, pagan, authentic and completely dedicated to the Viking cult, runes and the old gods. Can you hear the murmuring? The runes have awakened!”
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